The NHLPA has just handed its newest proposal to the National Hockey League Wednesday morning and there are some reasons to be optimistic about where the latest round of negotiations between the union and the NHL are heading.
The proposal tabled by the NHLPA is a five year proposal that includes some of the concessions we’ve been talking about here. The players have, according to TSN, moved “off its position on guaranteed players share dollars and shifts more to the owners demand of a percentage base in the revenue split.”
In other words, the NHL has always wanted a deal that worked from revenue growth rather than a guaranteed sum that would be paid to the players. The NHLPA’s movement toward the league on that score is said to be a “significant step” and may open some doors for some further negotiations.
We can also put a dollar amount on how far apart the two sides are: $182 million.
That is likely simplifying the issues, of course, but it’s a figure nonetheless. The NHLPA has moved its proposal to the land of percentages and away from flat-rate dollars. Previously, they’d sought an amount to the tune of $1.883 billion (plus 1.75 percent interest over the term of the deal).
But the problem may come with the players asking for more with respect to the much-discussed “make whole” provisions. The players want $180 million more added to what the league has offered ($211 million in deferred payments). This, according to Fehr, puts the players apart from the league by the aforementioned $182 million, as this is carried out over the five year life of the proposal.
Some have already made some calculations, which puts the figure in the range of $1.26 million per team per year. That’s certainly doable.
So in sum, the players have dropped the flat-rate demand (something Bill Daly repeatedly called a non-starter) and tabled a proposal that offers the concessions they were probably always going to make. The NHLPA is sticking to their guns, relatively speaking, in terms of the “make whole” provision and that’s where this thing could hit a snag.
Or egos could rule the day again and Gary Bettman could pretend that the players didn’t present a proposal at all and, in fact, it was a Chinese take-out menu instead. Either way, don’t hold your breath.